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Use of Conjunctions and Prepositions


Conjunctions are used to connect words, phrases, or clauses and Prepositions are those connecting words that show the relation of a noun or pronoun to other words in a sentence.

1)  CONJUNCTIONS - used in connecting words, phrases, or clauses:

a)     Coordinate Conjunctions – such as and and but are placed next to the words and ideas they connect.
·  He was strong in body and mind.
·  She was strong mentally but not physically. 

b)     Subordinate Conjunctions – are used when one idea in a sentence is dependent upon another idea.  The subordinate conjunction is used to connect the dependent with the main thought.

to indicate concession (i.e. although, even if, though)
· Though some of the volunteers never showed, we still packed a great
      number of boxes.

to show cause (i.e. now that, because, as, since)
·  He was terminated because of his excessive absenteeism.

to express a condition (i.e. if only, provided that, except that, unless)
·  The whole project will be delayed unless that shipment arrives today. 

to indicate purpose (i.e. in order that, so that)
·  He called in a replacement so that she could go home and get some rest. 

to fix a time (i.e. as long as, ever since, until, after, when, now that, before)
  ·  Ever since we installed that new software, tracking our shipments is easier.

c)     Correlative Conjunctions – are those used in pairs (i.e. neither/nor, either/or, not only/but also) and should be placed next to the words they connect.

·  Either we meet the budget or downsizing will be the alternative.
·  She is respected by neither her clients nor her colleagues.
·  They not only finished the project on time but also came in below budget.    

2)     PREPOSITIONS – are used to show the relation of a noun or pronoun to another word in the sentence: 

·  The defendant was shocked by the verdict from the jury. 
      (preposition ‘by’ shows the relation of the noun ‘verdict’ to the verb ‘shocked.’

Care must be taken with the use of prepositions.  Often there is confusion using the following prepositions:  

      at, with
  ·  My colleagues were angry with me.  (not ‘at me’)   
·  He was angry at the decisions being made.  (not ‘with’ the decisions’)   
  ·  The contractor was impatient at the delays.  (not ‘with the delays’)   
·  She was impatient with her children.  (not ‘at’ her children’)   

      among, between
·  The proceeds were divided among the team members.  (not ‘between the team 
·  The proceeds were divided between the two participants.  (not ‘among the two 

       in, into
·  Tommy ran in the gym.  (within its walls)   
·  Tommy ran into the gym.  (entered the gym)

      agreed to, on, with
·  He agreed to the terms of the contract.  (not ‘agreed with the terms’)   
·  The board members agreed on implementing a hiring freeze.  (not ‘agreed with implementing’)
·  She agreed with Tom to share in the responsibilities.  


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